Retired, work part-time or shifts, enjoy being out in the countryside? Then cycle the lanes and byways of Cheshire and surrounding areas with Chester Easy Riders: you won't get left behind.
Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

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Friday 11 August 2023

10th August 2023: Dunham Woodhouses (mod)

There was a good turnout on a warm morning outside Delamere station cafe. Andy, Peter and Jim were having to return after coffee, and  Dave Matthews would be peeling off early. It was good to hear that Peter was riding more and making progress with his recovery, and also to see Ray return from injury. The rest of the group consisted of Ever Ready Ray, Steve Tan, Trevor, Alan, Clive and myself. I suggested The Rope and Anchor as a lunch stop. I had led a group there in the past, and ridden out to lunch with Keith to this destination adjacent to the Trans Pennine Way. There was a very pleasant outside area, and the food had been fine.

We headed out via the attractive backwater around Norley Hall, and diverted at Crowton down Ainsworth Lane. Surprisingly, Steve spotted a friend of ours from Runcorn turning his car around in this quiet lane. We think that he must have been visiting the home of Mick Miller, who had, sadly, very recently past away. Mick, in his prime, was a larger than life, big-bearded, blue-eyed Viking of a character with his own coal business, and was a master chimney sweep. R.I.P. Mick. From Acton Bridge we headed for Cogshall Hall, and turned into Comberbach along Senna Lane. We avoided the plunge down and up to Great Budworth, passing the Cock O' Budworth on our way to Bate Heath. We turned north and reached Little Bollington by way of Hoo Green and Booth Bank. All very scenic, lovely little lanes, time to cruise and chat to Ray S, about the culture of our club, and our experiences riding up Ventoux. I was also able to share with Alan the challenges of living with partners who are always keen to 'disappear' your stuff, and of maintaining family cars that are probably past their sell by date.  

Photo by AO

At Arthill, I consulted about lunch, and we decided we would try my suggestion of the Rope and Anchor, although on passing The Swan with Two Nicks I noticed it wasn't too crowded, and was tempted. As our destination was only ten minutes away, it was decide not to bother wasting time ringing, as we usually had no problems just turning up. Not this time! The Rope and Anchor was obviously understaffed in the catering department, we would have a long wait for food , and they couldn't serve us in the garden. And, it wasn't even busy! Clive had mentioned  The Vine, and as we had only just passed it, about 300m back, we finished up there. Ray Baird's pie and chips seemed fine, but the roast sandwiches were simply awful. I won't be going back! As I had to miss last week's ride, this was consecutive rides for me with a disgusting lunch (The Lord Combermere being the previous one).

After luch we set out across the sun-soaked fields towards towards Lymm on the Trans Pennine Trail. Sparky Baird was feeling the heat, and it was an exceptionally hot day, when the need to stay hydrated was a priority. I came off the old rail route a little early, thinking that a brisk mile on the main road would be direct and quick, but road works thwarted us. After climbing out of Lymm from The Cross we took the back lanes to Sworton Heath, crossing the A50 and taking Swineyard Lane toward the old airfield and Antrobus. Clive and Ray Stigter excused themselves, and headed for the A56. We returned via Antrobus, Frandley and Little Leigh. Steve, Alan and myself treated ourseves to ice creams at Delamere. Trevor had carried on for home at Hatchmere,  so had clocked some extra miles on a hot day. We covered about forty five miles from Delamere and back on mainly quiet, rural lanes. The company was enjoyable as ever, but the lunch experience is likely to make me even more conservative in my choice of future pub destinations. 

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